Missing or damaged teeth can greatly affect a person’s self-esteem and overall dental health. At Gentle Care Dentistry, we offer a range of services to help our patients achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Dental implants are an effective and permanent solution for tooth replacement that your dentist or oral surgeon surgically install into the jawbone. Over time, the implants fuse to the bone, simulating the look and feel of natural teeth. Both dentures and bridges can be mounted to dental implants, providing optimal stability and comfort. At our Las Cruces, New Mexico office, your dentist will discuss your tooth replacement options and determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.
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What Dental Implants Can Do
- Provide long-lasting tooth replacement
- Protect the integrity of your jawbone
- Improve dental functionality
- Enhance your self-confidence
Dental Implants Procedure
At Gentle Care Dentistry, dental implants are available for patients who wish to replace missing or extracted teeth. Your dentist will evaluate your condition and recommend the most appropriate solution for your dental needs and aesthetic desires.
Traditional Dental Implants
The entire process for traditional dental implants takes a few months. First, the implant itself is installed into the jawbone through an incision in the gums. If necessary, multiple implants can be inserted during one procedure. Within three to six months, bone forms around the implant in a process called osseointegration. You may opt to have temporary crowns installed while your implant fuses to the surrounding bone. After the implant heals, an abutment is placed, and an impression is taken of the area to create a permanent restoration. Once your new replacement tooth has been crafted, it is attached to the abutment.
How to Maintain Dental Implants
It is important for you to care for your dental implants as if they were your natural teeth. You must brush and floss them daily to remove buildup and keep your gums in healthy condition. Be sure to visit your dentist twice a year to monitor your overall oral health. Should you experience complications or have any concerns about your dental implants, schedule an appointment before your biannual check-up.
Alternatives to Dental Implants
Not all patients with missing teeth can benefit from dental implants. Those who use tobacco products, suffer from gum disease, or lack adequate bone are more likely to experience implant failure. Fortunately, patients who do not qualify for dental implants can still obtain beautiful results with dental bridges or dentures.
- Dental bridges are devices composed of two crowns supporting one or more artificial teeth. The crowns are attached to abutments on the natural teeth at either end of a gap, producing a permanent improvement.
- Dentures are removable false teeth that replace several consecutive missing teeth. Patients may require a full or partial denture, depending on the extent of correction needed.
- Partial dentures are similar to bridges in that they replace only a portion of the dental structure, but they are removable.